Two years ago Paperspace Design reviewed the Citizen M hotel in Amesterdam and were impressed by its forward thinking approach to hospitality. This week sees the opening of Citizen M London Bankside and I was intrigued to see how this brand has developed and adapted to the British market.
Their core values of quality, value, transparency and efficiency are still evident from the friendly but non-intrusive service to the way technology is utilised wherever possible to enhance the guest experience. Citizen M aims to meet the requirements of the modern traveller – somewhere to use your laptop and print your documents, free wifi, quick and easy check in, 24/7 food and beverage, a comfortable bed and well designed lounge areas to relax and socialise. Meeting rooms are also available and there’s even a small bookshop area where you can buy or order design led books from Mendo.
Designed by Dutch design house Concrete the interior is modern and vibrant. The brand colours of black and red dominate but are softened by lighting and accessories. All the furniture has been supplied by Vitra including iconic pieces from the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Vernor Panton and Jean Prouvé and separate lounge areas have been created each with their own function and identity. I particularly like the small lounge by check-in with its bright red sofas and long thin fireplace. Several large pieces of artwork have been commissioned especially for the hotel.
I haven’t been to the Glasgow hotel but what struck me about Bankside was how much the design has been softened from the original Amsterdam site. The interior feels warmer and less stark and although still essentially modern Dutch in style it now has another layer; a more British, slightly quirky edge which makes it feel more homely. Union Jack cushions are scattered on the sofas and the walls are adorned with books and knick-knacks – Penguin classics in frames, animal head sculptures and a butterfly collection. Whether this is a development of the brand in response for the trend for all things British or whether it is an adaptation to suit the London market I’m not sure but I think it works perfectly in this location.
Bedrooms are very similar to the Amsterdam hotel being compact but efficiently designed with a large 2.1m bed and the ability to customise the space with lighting, sound and temperature all controlled from a Samsung tablet. The bathroom design has been developed from the clear glass cylinder design to a more reserved, Brit-friendly frosted glass pod in the corner. Although it reduces the ‘wow’ factor slightly and I think makes the room feel a little less spacious (apparently they are the same size as the Amsterdam rooms) the colour change lighting ensures the fun is still there and the larger vanity unit is a plus too.
We won’t have to wait long to see how the Citizen M brand is implemented in future hotels both in London and abroad. Next year they plan to open three further sites in London, two in New York, one in Paris and following that they have plans to expand into Asia Pacific and China.
You can see more photos of Citizen M Bankside on our Facebook page and you might also be interested to read our review of Citizen M Amsterdam from 2010. If you would like to receive email updates of our latest reviews and press releases you can sign up here.